Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Please, give me a few tips on making an antagonist for my story!
SteveMyers22 at 11:37AM, Oct. 4, 2007
posts: 300
joined: 6-17-2007
Re: Lady Deathstrike …

Yuriko Oyama shouldn't be confused with Mariko Yashida (Wolverine's former fiancee).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
authorfly at 12:34PM, Oct. 4, 2007
posts: 67
joined: 4-6-2007
Okay, first let me start by saying darn you fox kids for confusing me about X-men so! Secondly I'm going to start attending community college in the spring semester of this year, I hope to study graphic design. I'll also take writing as my minor, while I'm doing this I'm sure I will be able to meet some helpful people willing to give me a hand filling in the holes of my creative process. Thirdly I'd like to complain, I live in Las Vegas and community college prices are outrageous. Its almost $300 to take a 3 unit Spanish course, I hardly know how I am going to afford my associates degree in graphic design. That last line was a little bit of a rant thanks for listening to it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
Fuzzy Modem at 3:47PM, Oct. 7, 2007
posts: 217
joined: 9-17-2007
Just replying to the OP.

I once got a really usefull bit of advice:

Give your hero 2 positive attributes and 1 negative attribute.
Give your villian 2 negative attributes and 1 positive attribute.

So while maybe he's a coke addict trying to assasinate the Pope, he really likes kittens. :)

I've given up following my dreams. I just asked where they're going and I'm gonna meet them there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM
Mattski at 1:01PM, Oct. 9, 2007
posts: 10
joined: 10-6-2007
Man, I gotta get out more… ;)

I just today ran across this forum. As others have already pointed out, an antagonist is pretty much there as a counter to your protagonist, but what few have mentioned is that there needs to be a reason why the antagonist is there as a counter.

Unless the antagonist's sole purpose for living is to torment the protagonist (like a big brother) there needs to be solid reasons as to why the antagonist is doing what they're doing. They have their own sets of motivations, their own goals, their own desires that often run afoul of, or contrary to, the goals of your hero. That way, the antagonist becomes a more believable character. Develop those characteristics for your antagonist and your story will be much richer.

An antagonist is there to create conflict (and thus, story) against the protagonist, but don't make him a bad guy just because he's the antagonist.

Good luck!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
okamimako at 9:02PM, Oct. 18, 2007
posts: 118
joined: 10-10-2007
Okay, well, since I write fantasy, the best way I can explain how I write my antagonist.

Generally, I have some big generic evil guy to counteract all the little good guys. Then I skip to about ten years or so into their past (since, unlike a lot of other fantasy stories, I have quite a bit of characters over 16) and see what happened there. Do they have siblings? Pets? A family? If they did, are they still around now? If not, why not? I develop them from the bottom up, starting with their childhood and figuring out how they turned into the big evil guy trying to take over the world (or whatever they're trying to accomplish).

You could also apply that to yours, in slight assumption that you aren't doing a fantasy comic. Just take someone who has the opposite views of your protagonist.

And if you're having trouble imagining it from their point of view, make your protagonist into the antagonist for a while and see what happens (not that you have to write a comic about that). Keep all the characters in character, but try to see how the antagonist would see the protagonist. Try to learn a little bit of his past and his motivations, the people he hangs out with, his family, his hobbies, etc.

Just a warning: don't develop him to much from the get-go or he'll end up more interesting that the protagonist…
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
deepcheese at 6:04PM, Dec. 26, 2007
posts: 295
joined: 9-3-2006
I agree with everyone above, the best possible antagonist is one who is not evil. In fact, it gives quite an interesting moral grey area when the antagonist if trying to do something inherently good, but going about it in the wrong way. Like someone who is trying to promote world peace by holding the world hostage, or something.

Also, when it comes to art style, don't let the fact that you have a cute style prevent you from makeing a dark and evil villain. Just because someone is ultra-cute dosen't make it any less evil when they are killing someone. As a matter of fact, I think that it makes it creepy. For example, in this anime, ‘Higurashi no Naku Koro ni’, the animation style is really cute, borderline chibi/super deformed. Yet it's about a town full of psycotic, murdering cultists. And if that can be pulled off, then you shouldn't worry about whether your style is apropriate or not. Think of it as lulling your audience into a false sense of security. It can be very effective if done right!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
Warpedwenger at 12:06PM, Dec. 30, 2007
posts: 1,774
joined: 4-3-2007
I already gave this advice in another thread but this is my theory on creating characters… Think about the real people you know is there a person in your RL that is kinda a jerk. I bet there is at least one. Why do you think they act that way? A great example of a real antagonist is Doyle from Slingblade. I bet when you watch that movie you think Man I really hate that way guy! Thats because you relate to it you probably have met somebody just like him at some point.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:46PM

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